Warning comes as eBooks overtake paperbacks in the US for the first time
Authors are warning of the threat of eBook piracy - just as the format overtakes paper.
The Publisher's Association said it received 831 reports of piracy last week alone, and issued 2,194 takedown notices. In the past year, it has issued 32,000 such notices, in an attempt to stem the distribution of pirated books.
To help battle the problem, the Publisher's Association has created a website for authors to report online piracy.
Crime writer David Hewson compared the "colossal" problem to music piracy. "We all saw the damage this did to the music industry," he was quoted in Metro as saying. "It isn’t a bunch of Robin Hood geeks – it is very organised. You can call it file sharing or piracy or whatever, but they are thieves."
"It’s really got big over the last year, I guess because so many people are buying eReaders. Everything I have ever had published is out there now."
However, the warning comes as others celebrate the success of eBooks. The Association of American Publishers said eBooks overtook paperbacks for the first time ever in February, selling US$90.3 million versus $81.2 million in paper copies.
That marks a 202.3% increase in sales compared with February last year. Meanwhile, adult hardcover and paperback books fell by a combined 34.4%.
The report follows a trend marked by Amazon earlier this year, when the online retailer said it sold more eBooks for the Kindle than new paperbacks for the first time ever.